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Restaurant sues over roadkill listing

The owner of 2 Montana barbecue restaurants says his business has suffered thousands in losses since they appeared under 'animal carcass removal' in the phone book.

By Karen Datko Sep 12, 2011 2:01PM

Would you eat at a barbecue restaurant marketed under the yellow pages listing for roadkill?

 

Hunter Lacey's Bar 3 Bar-B-Q restaurants in Bozeman and Belgrade, Mont., appeared under "animal carcass removal" in a Dex Media phone book in 2009, and Lacey says business has dropped off by more than $18,000 since then. Jay Leno joked about the phone book error on "The Tonight Show" in January.

 

Now Lacey has sued Dex. "Lacey's lawsuit says a Dex Media employee deliberately published the listing after Lacey declined to buy an advertisement from him," an Asssociated Press story says. Among Dex's responses to the suit, the AP says, was that a restaurant representative was rude to the caller from Dex. Also, Dex claims, according to AP:

Dex is not responsible for the conduct of its employees if they operate outside the scope of their employment -- and the employee who changed the restaurant's listing to appear under the "Animal Carcass Removal" heading was operating outside the scope of his job.

Just goes to show that everyone needs an editor. Post continues after video.

And how about a sense of humor? You might think a restaurant owner in Montana would enjoy the publicity and maybe take advantage of it. (Plus, depending on what's hit, the carcasses here in Montana can be quite tasty.) "TheJdogg" commented on the Missoulian newspaper website:

Jokingly name a meal or two after road-kill, and people will line up for it. Also, he must be aware how hard it is to prove that the dex thing caused this. We are in a recession. We also know which restaurants are safe. Montana towns aren't that big.

And if you are visiting from out of town, the last place you'd look in the phone book to find a restaurant is under the "animal carcass removal" section.

 

On the other hand, it's difficult to judge how widespread this listing has become on the interwebs even though Dex removed it from its book. We just did a search under the animal carcass removal section at the AOL Yellow Pages for Bozeman and guess what popped up? The Bar 3 restaurant down the road in Belgrade.

 

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16Comments
Sep 12, 2011 4:11PM
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While I agree that the restaurant owner is probably taking advantage of this with the lawsuit to help in a bad economy, it still doesn't excuse the unprofessional conduct of the employee. I would also be extremely upset about the response from Dex. To say Dex is not responsible for the conduct of it's employees is ridiculous. Sure, if the guy goes out and dances naked on a table, they are not responsible; but if he works for an ad company and he creates an inapproprate ad, then it applies to Dex. That's like saying if a restaurant worker spits in your food, the restaurant isn't responsible for the employee. I still wouldn't eat there unless they removed the employee and I wouldn't do business with Dex unless they took responsibility. IMO, Dex' response was completely unacceptable.
Sep 12, 2011 4:41PM
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I'm curious as to how the employee was "operating outside the scope of his job".  Was it because he was in sales and not proofing?  And it shouldn't matter if the "restaurant representative" was rude.  Sometimes, you HAVE to be rude to salesmen, otherwise they DON'T STOP calling! 
Sep 12, 2011 4:32PM
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If I was the restrateur involved (that's 'cafe owner' for the Montanans reading this) I would find a good attorney (an oxymoron) and sue the rat-spit out of Dex just on General Principals.  Granted, it was a great practical joke, but business is business, and Dex is totally out of line legally for this, and should be held totally responsible... think of what else a vindictive 'sales-person' could pull on other kinds of businesses that have 'scorned' them.  I think a very large settlement, and some free future advertising is totally justified.  This isn't frivolous... there's a time and a place, and this is both.
Sep 12, 2011 5:48PM
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Sure sounds like placing a listing was under the scope of his job. It is still listed in their book under carcass removal. Sounds like Dex needs a lesson in how to conduct business. I hope the judge gives them one.
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having sold yellow pages before I can assure you that the employee was NOT out of his realm of responsibility. The sales rep has to place the ad or listing under the heading. He did it out of spite. Dex can claim innocence all they want but they TRAINED the guy and in that training he was taught how to change headings. end of argument. Getting out of yellow page sales is the best move I ever made. It is a business model that is built on dying technology. Business owners HATE yellow page reps because of overly aggressive sales techniques that are taught by the major yellow page providers. It is a very sick business and  i feel that in the near future it will basically disappear. Their entire sale presentation is based on the premise that you HAVE to have a big ad in the yellow pages to survive and in today's world...... IT JUST AINT SO!!!!!!
Sep 12, 2011 4:23PM
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@ holdin 5 aces- You claim to have been to Montana but since you claim that Montanans are dumb- I have reason to doubt your veracity. Most Montanans are strong, smart, capable and independent.

Sep 12, 2011 5:14PM
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DEX is obsolete, so if you use internet? It is a waste of money. "DO NOT USE DEX" No one looks at it, just  receive it and throw it away.  Open-mouthed
Sep 12, 2011 4:31PM
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OK so obviously the revenue decline came from the general mood America is in and the belt tightening that unemployment and underemployment brings.  But for DEX to deny responsibility when one of its salespeople goes rogue like this....

DEX's affiliation with Qwest only serves to verify how poorly run this company is.  I think a boycott is in order.

(And an out-of-court settlement where the terms are not disclosed except that DEX preserves its "lack of responsibility" in the matter.)

Sep 12, 2011 7:13PM
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Hopefully this will put dex out of business.  What the employee did was a criminal act.  For dex to justify it, and then try to distance themselves from liability, shows they don't get it.  If they had tried to fix the situation it would be different.  As is, wipe them out.
Sep 12, 2011 8:22PM
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the employee was acting as a dex agent with permission and training of dex ,so,----GUILTY!!!
Sep 13, 2011 11:09AM
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Dex should have consulted a lawyer before responding. The employee acted as an agent of the company, as previously noted. The defense that the "a restaurant representative was rude to the caller from Dex" is more of an admission and shows malice on the part of Dex's agent, which could lead to added punitive damages. Sometimes "no comment" is the appropriate answer to questions about matters being litigated. Let your lawyer speak for you.
Sep 12, 2011 7:21PM
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nothing wrong with road kill. if i went to MT. that's the the restaurant i would have to go to.
Sep 13, 2011 7:55PM
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Road kill with the right sauce can't be beat.
Sep 12, 2011 5:12PM
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Even if you don't look there to find a place to eat, if you did see or hear about the add there would you stop in when driving by hungry. 

 

Sep 12, 2011 4:14PM
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Gimme a friggin break. Obviously no one is looking under the "animal carcass removal" section of the yellow pages for a place to eat. And let's be honest here, who the hell uses the yellow pages at all anymore. Just another a-hole trying to make a quick buck using a frivolous lawsuit.
Sep 12, 2011 3:25PM
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Any PR is good PR. I've been to Montana and those folks are dumb enough to take this Dex deal seriously. I'd say the issue here is bad bbq. If the owner would spend more time on his menu and less time consulting an attorney his business might prosper.
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